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Climate Change Hero

Climate Change Blog

  • 21
  • June
  • 2018

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NGOs Push for Battery Storage As BACT at California Gas Plant

On May 29, 2018, the Sierra Club and other environmental groups filed a petition for review with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Environmental Appeals Board (EAB) to challenge the federal Clean Air Act (CAA) Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) Permit issued by EPA Region 9 for the Palmdale Energy Project (PEP). While the nature of the project has evolved over time (PEP was originally supposed to be a hybrid natural gas plant and solar facility), the final PSD permit for the project approves the construction of a 645 megawatt (MW) combined cycle natural gas-fired power plant. PEP’s PSD permit also authorizes the facility to construct duct burners to produce additional electricity during peak demand periods. As originally proposed, the co-located solar facility would have fulfilled this role; however, the project developer changed designs based on the increased deployment of solar energy in California, reducing the need for daytime peak load assistance. With potential peak demand times projected to be more common in the evening, a co-located peaker solar facility was no longer thought to be the best option for the facility’s design.

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  • 31
  • May
  • 2018

Author:

  • Eric Holdsworth

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The Edison Electric Institute ESG/Sustainability Reporting Template: A Model For Other Industries

EEI’s member companies are leading the transformation to a lower-carbon economy through major capital investments in cleaner energy and smarter energy infrastructure. For example, since 2007, the mix of resources used to generate electricity in the United States has changed dramatically, with more than one-third of the nation’s electricity now coming from non-emitting resources. In addition, EEI member companies have undertaken a wide range of initiatives over the last 30 years to reduce, avoid, or sequester emissions, and, in 2017, power sector carbon dioxide emissions were 27 percent below 2005 levels. EEI’s member companies have also been at the forefront of ESG/sustainability reporting, being amongst the first industries to undertake sustainability and climate reporting.

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The Sustainability Report Heard Round the World?

On March 9, 2018, UBS filed a Form 6-K with the SEC enclosing its EU-required corporate sustainability report. This filing marks a significant moment in the rapidly changing world of environmental, social, and governance (“ESG”) disclosures as it effectively declares climate and sustainability reporting to be material. As we have noted previously, increasing investor demands for information on ESG topics, including climate change, has rapidly blurred the line between financial and non-financial disclosures.

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  • 30
  • April
  • 2018

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Natural Disaster: Social Insurance in an Era of Climate Change

V&E lawyers Margaret Peloso and Kristen Miller examine whether and how social insurance programs should be redesigned in order to better address the environmental disasters caused by global climate change in a recent article published in The Environmental Forum. The article briefly explores the current role of social insurance programs in managing environmental risk, before assessing the strain these programs will experience as climate events become increasingly extreme and frequent. 

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SEC Staff Permits “Micro-Management” Argument to Exclude Climate Change Proposals

During the 2018 proxy season, the SEC has been taking a more nuanced, company-friendly approach to certain climate change and environmental protection shareholder proposals. Specifically, the Commission recently concurred with the exclusion of several climate change shareholder proposals on the grounds that they sought to “micro-manage” the company under the “ordinary business” exception to Rule 14a-8.

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